112. Memorandum of Telephone Conversation Between the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Bundy) and the Under Secretary of State (Ball)1


  • Indonesia

Ball said he thought we were creating an impression of looking undignified, and he thought we were going to ask Jones about his coming back.

Bundy said he had talked to the Secretary about this and explained his strong feeling that we are almost certainly headed for a very sharp cut-down in all our activities and we are going to announce our plans when they are clear. The way we do it makes a good deal of difference in whether we get back in at a later time and Jones’ role at this point. Ball said he thought we should be taking the initiative in cutting down. Bundy said we are prepared to but we should do it as gently as possible for the time we move back in (presumably after Sukarno).

Ball thought these actions were hurting us in many other places. Bundy explained his visit to the Hill yesterday and there appeared to be no animosity as to the way the Dept was handling Indonesia. Ball said he did not think we had a program for reducing. Bundy said there was one and that it is just about racked up.2 Ball said he would like to see it. A meeting was agreed on for today at 4:30 in Ball’s office.3

Ball said he was disappointed in Jones’ actions of late. He thought he was becoming too soft in order to go out with good relations. Bundy was not in complete agreement on this.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, Ball Papers, Telephone Conversations, Indonesia, [4/12/64–11/10/65]. No classification marking.
  2. On March 4 USIA announced it was closing all USIA Libraries and Reading Rooms in Indonesia in the face of Government of Indonesia failure to restrain mob violence and its placing of the USIA operations “under conditions that we find intolerable.” The text of the statement is in American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1965, p. 755.
  3. No record of this meeting has been found. At 7 p.m. on March 2 Ball talked on the telephone with Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs Thomas Mann. Ball informed Mann that Bunker would be going to Indonesia for a special assessment of the situation, but he asked that Mann not reveal it because he did not want to give Sukarno “a kudo” when “he is kicking us to death.” Ball informed Mann that “we are pulling USIA out on March 3. Mann stated that Moyers recommended that since Sukarno planned to take over U.S. oil assets in Indonesia, the U.S. needed an Ambassador there. Mann did not think the President was as firm on this as Moyers was and agreed to talk to Moyers about it. (Johnson Library, Ball Papers, Telephone Conversations, Indonesia, [4/12/64–11/10/65])